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|Decatur Women’s Sports League supports lesbian health|
|by Tristan Skye|
|January 07, 2011 00:00|
The Decatur Women’s Sports League first began in March 2007. With softball as the initial sport, 200 happy lesbians (and allies) finally found a league of their own. From that point on, the sports interest grew and additions were made that included bowling, basketball, tennis, volleyball and badminton.
“With much diversity and a cooperative spirit these women all played recreation ball, made friends, got exercise and donated money to the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative to help underinsured women to go to the doctor and receive mammograms and health care,” says Anne “Sarge” Barr, founder and commissioner of the league.
The Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative honored Barr with its 2008 “Healing Angel” award for her work with the sports league and the money it has raised. As of Fall 2010, the Decatur Women’s Sports League has donated $50,000 to the health initiative.
ALHI has also honored Barr as one of it its “Real Women” of the month. “Anne Barr’s own healing journey through sports began as a little girl who attended a strict Catholic school, and who, after a few short years, was no longer allowed to play with the boys because she was, after all, a girl,” ALHI notes on its website. “When finally at age nine she was allowed to play on a girls’ softball team, her tomboy spirit joyfully blossomed again.”
Now Barr also enjoys helping relationships blossom between lesbians and the general community through interactions with the sports league.
“Working with the community and building bridges and relationships with the City of Decatur and Dekalb County Recreation Departments, as well as some local churches who have assisted in renting us gyms when needed, has been a great blessing,” Barr says. “I am proud of this league for representing us in a way that others welcome us and join us in a positive effort to improve lives.”
Basketball is currently underway and runs through Jan. 27 and bowling started Jan. 5. Softball resumes in March.
“We are one big family and we look to grow with soccer and kickball coming also,” Barr says.
Top photo: Linda Ellis, Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative executive director, presented the group’s 2008 Healing Angel Award to Anne Barr (right) for the Decatur Women’s Sports League’s support for women’s health. (via Facebook)
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